Anything we are asked to do in life is actually an audition. Those who asked us to do it, as well as other people, are watching us to see how we respond. (And I don’t mean Big Brother’s version of watching.) Do we shrug off a request after accepting it and it never gets done?
If we know we aren’t going to do something, then we should respectfully decline the request, but do so firmly if we need to. If we have said Yes, or not said No – there is a difference – we need a very good reason for not following through: illness, a family crisis, a critical work situation, something like that.
Otherwise, the way we do even small things reflects the way our future is probably going to be:
- Is there attitude?
- Is there arrogance or haughtiness?
- Is there gratitude for the opportunity to show what we’re made of?
- Is there self-respect?
- Is there respect for our family’s reputation even if we don’t care about our own image?
In some cultures, the latter is of supreme importance, sometimes to a fault. Failure to live up to unrealistic expectations can lead to suicide in such environments. And it is the family who bears the brunt of the responsibility, not the person who ends it all.
Is Everything Really an Audition?
Surely not everything we are asked to do is an audition? Yes, just about everything is.
At home: The audition can begin in the home where parents keep track to see if they can trust us to do the right thing. If over and over they can’t, we may wait a couple of years longer than our peers to apply for a driver’s license, as just one example. Of course, we may choose to wait but that’s a different situation.
Education: Teachers in school will watch to see if we are team players, or helpers, or bullies. The lone wolf may just be super-sensitive, needing personal space, but may also be a looming threat to society. And increasingly, the world is watching teachers and administrators with a highly critical eye. It does work both ways.
Workplace: Employers will most definitely keep tabs on the way we do things. If they’re smart, they will sometimes get their own coffee, and bring ours, instead of expecting it to be the other way around all the time. Even the intern should not always be the go-fer person. Our reaction to these happenings is also noted. Smirking is bad. Sour looks are more so.
God: And certainly God is watching to see how we handle everything that is given to us. We don’t always understand or appreciate why things are happening in our circles. But God wants us to know what we’re made of, even more than we want to know. He, of course, already knows and He doesn’t expect us to do everything perfectly.
Introspection is healthy and good for everyone, but the world does need those who look outward most of the time. That doesn’t mean they have to be extroverts who wear out everyone else with their always-on personality. But it does mean they hold and display a compassion for the world.
It crossed my mind during a leadership meeting at work this week that we need to do the small things well or we will not have the opportunity to do large things badly. This is the norm, in spite of those exceptions who somehow get to do everything badly and eventually come crashing down. None of this means we are to be doormats or put up with other forms of bullying. We stand up for ourselves in one way or another every day.
Starting with the small things, Life is truly an audition, not just for our life on earth but for the world that is our Destiny.